***POV - Damion
It’s Thursday around 9 pm and we drive through giant steel gates entering the pier where we’re supposed to meet Scarface (the nickname we gave Harry). He’s chosen his location carefully, cause at the moment this whole place is closed down, though I’m not sure why exactly.
Dad and Uncle John are sitting at the back in a black bulletproof Chevy Suburban SUV driven by armed bodyguards. Us boys are on our Reaper dirt-bikes, dressed up in the same kind of clothes used by SWAT, thanks to Uncle John’s company, and we’re all connected by earpieces specifically designed for tactical, covert, direct-to-ear incoming and outgoing radio communications.
I salute the old guys and then we drive off to hide between the stacked shipping crates and wait to see what happens. The plan is for us to stay hidden and only come out when something goes wrong and if Scarface shows his ass, we’re going to take him down.
We find a spot far enough to not be seen, but with a good view of the meeting sight. I lift the screen of my helmet and look at Logan and Jackson parked next to me. Axel, Ilkay, and Enrique are on the other side of the pier. The car is parked in the middle of a large open area, only illuminated by the light of the moon and a few distant street lamps.
I scroll through my playlist and put on the song from Katie Sky again. I’ve been listening to it the whole way here, but I need to hear the words again. Mel sent me this song as a message just before we left the house and a small smile creeps over my lips, my mind drifts away with thoughts of her.
‘I see your monsters … I see your pain … ’
Logan taps on my helmet giving me a strange look. I ignore him, pointing to my earphones.
‘Never see that the things we need are staring right at us …’
He now hits my helmet and I reluctantly change my earphones to the tactical ones so I can hear the guys talking instead.
“You think he’s going to show?” Jackson is playing with the strap of his helmet, his blue eyes now dark shadows, highlighting the blackness I’m feeling inside me.
“Personally I don’t think he’s that stupid.” I try to focus on our assignment and not think about the song anymore.
“Yeh, that’s what I was thinking too.” Ilkay’s voice comes over the radio. We fall back into silence, and I’m thinking about how one single moment can change a person’s life forever. In just the blink of an eye the universe can blast your life out of proportion, without you having any ability to stop it, and neither can you terminate the rippling aftereffects that keep on shattering your existence over and over again. Every single person experiences moments like that.
But sometimes the universe seems to have an extra wicked day and then it goes and throws a hellish moment on some unfortunate person’s path. Well, all of the guys here had at least one of those moments from hell in the past and I suppose that’s why we’re such a tight-knit group. We never talk much about it, but we know it’s there, hiding in the dark. We’ve come to know all the signs of destruction well and thus we can help keep each other not to fall into the pit of despair.
My first dark moment was the day my sister died.
Both Ilkay and the twins saw the mutilated body of their mother. Jackson also experienced something that left him with hemophobia (fear of blood).
Axel, well he had a shitty childhood with an abusive father and an older sister that took her own life. But the point is that we’ve turned out not too damn bad, nonetheless – mostly due to our strong bond and friendship.
And I believe that in the end the universe eventually comes to its senses and tries to rectify the pain of those moments by sending an angel to heal it. How else do you explain Mel crossing my path just after the death of my sister? And then later again just after another devastating moment in my life. Each time she saved me from getting caught in the darkness forever.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still broken, but because of Mel, at least there is hope. Now I just need to make sure I don’t fuck it up.
Headlights swerve through the gate and forewarn us that a car is coming, and then a dark car drives into sight. It stops nose to nose with the SUV and turns of the lights. The guards in our vehicle get out, sheltering themselves behind their doors, and aim their guns at the parked car.
“Ok boys, here we go.” Dad’s voice comes over the radio and he sounds calm and collected. Dad and Uncle John get out, hands in the air, and move to the front of their SUV. A single man gets out of the pickup and joins them. Could it be Scarface? But my gut tells me it’s not.
“Who are you?” We can hear the conversation on our radios. So not Harry then.
“It doesn’t matter, I’m just paid to do a job.” He hands over a package to my dad.
“It’s a phone. Read the message written on the package.” The guy waits for them to respond. Dad reads the message out loud, knowing we can hear it.
“It’s time to face your fate. The guilty ones must surrender so the innocents won’t get harmed. I’ll send you more information on this phone.”
“You can communicate with him on that phone.” The man says.
“Ok, got it.” Uncle John responds. The man turns around to leave, but then he puts his index finger in the air, turning back.
“Oh, and there’s one more thing. I also have a message for a Damion.” I clench my hands tight on my handlebars, trying to stay in control, but my stomach is turning upside down and my heartbeat race up.
“What’s the message?” I can hear my dad’s voice is now straint, not the collected calm one from before. The man pulls something from his pocket, it seems like a piece of paper, and then starts reading it.
“Little biker, you will be punished for screwing my girl. She belongs to me and soon I will claim her for myself and you will only watch. Lots of love, D.” He hands the paper to my father, tips his head to the two old guys, gets back into his car, and drives away. It feels as if I’m going to explode and blood seeps into my mouth from biting my lip.
“What the fuck?” Enrique, like usual, the first one to break the silence.
“D wants Mel,” Jackson answers and I take a deep breath. Over my dead fucking body, or rather over his dead body. These guys haven’t met the monster hiding inside me, but they’re going to feel its rage when they come for Mel. This time, I’m ready.
“Fuck them all!” Enrique shouts into my ear.
“Let’s go to Damion’s house. We need to organize a plan.” Uncle John says into the radio while they get back into the SUV.
I change earphones again and start my bike, speeding off into the streets, the anger inside me causing me to pull my throttle open, increasing my speed to way over the legal limit. I can hear the other bikes following behind as we swerve through traffic.
‘I see your monsters, I see your pain, tell me your problems – I’ll chase them away’
The words echo in my ears and I try to push back, to take back control, but at this stage, I’m so high on adrenaline that nothing else matters. Axel swerves to avoid a car and he almost collides with me but we manage to circumvent an accident. Still going too slow for my taste I increase my speed even more, suddenly wishing I wasn’t on my scrambler.
’I’ll be your lighthouse, I’ll make it okay,
when I see your monsters, I’ll stand there so brave and chase them all away
in the dark we we, we stand apart we we,
never see that the things that we need are staring right at us
You just want to hide hide, Hide never show your smile smile,
Stand alone when you need someone is the hardest thing of all,
That you see is the bad bad bad memories
Take your time and you’ll find me’
Then it’s as if something in my brain sparks to life. I need to stay alive to protect Mel, I can’t do anything if I’m hurt or dead. My hand relaxes and my bike slows down. On cue, the rest of the guys follow and without incident, we reach my house.
“That was incredibly stupid.” Dad grabs my arm as soon as he gets out of the car and I can see in his eyes that he’s not happy with me right now.
“I’m sorry.” I watch as the others follow Uncle John into the house, leaving me alone with my father.
“I was just so angry, I feel so powerless. Dad, I can’t lose her.”
“Then start putting her first. Think about her before you do something brainless again. Remember that she can’t lose you as well.” He’s still mad and I can’t blame him, but he puts his arm around my shoulder as we walk inside. I acted like a child and I know he’s right, I must think about her, I must keep control. But it’s not so easy when my whole control support network – aka my rules – is not there to back me up anymore.
“We don’t have much time to sort something out.” Ilkay starts the conversation as we sit down around the table in the kitchen while I make some coffee. Uncle John taped the conversation so we listen to it again.
“So how do we know who are the guilty ones and who are the innocents?” Jackson asks, looking at his uncle.
“I didn’t read it but he actually added a list of names.” Uncle John reads the names that include himself, Garcia, Mel’s dad, Jackson, and a few names I don’t recognize. Also, Alexander and George, but they’re both struck out. I look at Jackson who’s staring through the window into the darkness, his face unreadable.
“So, J dude, what did you do to land in the penalty box?” I ask, rather confused. Wasn’t Jackson like only a child back then … around 8 or so?
He doesn’t move, just shrugs his shoulders. Then he turns around and gapes intently at me, asking “Why is D so adamant that you’re screwing our sister?”
Logan hasn’t said a word since we’ve left the harbor and now he’s looking at me with a scorned face. I know I’ll have to tell them about my feelings sooner rather than later, but now is not the right time. I hate lying to my best friends and decide that making a joke about the truth is the best way to go.
“Because I am screwing her.” I’ve never seen seven heads pop up as fast as that, staring at me like a troop of bushbabies, “Haven’t you seen the news?”
Then I burst out laughing as all their faces droop into pitiful expressions.
“Fuck you dude.” Enrique scolds shaking his head. “That was not funny!”
“It’s a little funny.”
There’s a noise on the staircase and Mel and Kiara walk down, Mel’s eyes still full of sleep. We must have woken them up.
Mel wipes her eyes with the back of her hands and I know we might have a small problem – it takes Mel a while to fully wake up. And I am right cause the next moment she grabs me and plants a kiss on my cheek.
“Hello, sexy,” she says with a warm loving smile.
I stand frozen, her arms still around my neck, my mind working faster than my bike’s top speed, thinking of how the hell I’m going to explain this to her family watching with confused expressions.
I awkwardly remove her arms from my body, while Kiara steps on her foot to make her come to her senses. I see the lights turning on in her eyes.
“Eh, Mel, I think your mind is still asleep girl,” Kiara says, trying to avert the tragedy that might just cost me my life. Mel moves frantically away from me, a warm blush on her cheeks, looking extremely cute.
They take some coffee and sit on the counter at the window. I look at Mel dressed in her puny pajama shorts and a crop top and thinking about holding that sexiness in my arms later raise my dick to push against my pants. I don’t know how long I’m going to be able to resist the urge, but I’ll never push her to have sex. I’ll wait until she’s ready.
“Like I was saying before we got so rudely interrupted by the two sleeping beauties,” Ilkay teases “What do we know for sure?”
“Harry wants the people on the list to … suffer, die, pay or what?” Logan asks.
“Okay, so I understand Alexander and George, and why they’re strikethrough, I also get why dad is on the list, but what did Alberto and you do Uncle John?” Ilkay asks, looking at his uncle.
“Well, Alberto was in the room while they tortured Harry and I was the one that handed him over. See, Harry’s wife brought me a flash drive with destructive evidence against her husband. I handed the drive over to George, sealing Harry’s fate.” Uncle John wipes his hand over his face.
“I really believed he was guilty. His wife committed suicide that same night and poor Harry was cut, tortured in the worst possible ways, and left to die from blood loss and pain. But somebody patched him up and helped him to escape with his kids. We never figured out who that person was,” he continues in a soft sad voice.
“And about four years later someone kills our mom and soon after that Harry decides to kill George and Alexander,” Logan says.
“Well, I’m going to call it a night. This old body can only handle a certain little amount of excitement per day.” Uncle John gets up.
“I’m also tired.” Dad joins him and they walk out the door, leaving us in the kitchen.
Mel, still sitting on the counter next to Kiara, whispers something in her friend’s ear, and then they jump to the floor together.
“We’re going to bed,” Kiara explains, pulling Mel with her. The guys think that both girls sleep together in my spare bedroom. I seriously owe Kiara, big time. When they walk past me, Mel winks at me and I desperately just want to follow her upstairs.
But, I manage to wait a good five minutes before I chase the guys out of the house.